£12.00Current stock: 3
Director: Joseph G. Prieto
Label: Something Weird Video
Bikers, beach parties, body painting, death by dune buggy, interracial lust, and a good old-fashioned catfight all gleefully collide in Savages from Hell, the manic followup to Shanty Tramp from producer K. GORDON MURRAY and director JOSE ("Joseph") PRIETO. And while Savages ain’t no Shanty — hell, few films are — it’s still an exuberant blast from Florida’s past which manages to make the entire Sunshine State seem like one of those scary little rest stops somewhere off the main road.
Cuban immigrants Teresa and Marco want something more out of life than living in a shantytown wooden shack with their bean-picking parents. Marco’s already training to be a garage mechanic at a local service station, and Teresa... well, Teresa hopes to be crowned "Queen of the Swamp Buggy Races" some day. She’s also infatuated with Hi-Test, the lowlife leader of a motorcycle gang. (Mr. Test is played by WILLIAM P. KELLEY, who didn’t want his name in the credits.) "Well, she’s big enough and old enough," says her migrant mama. "Yeah," replies her dour daddy with the punch line, "But is she smart enough?" Quick answer: of course not.
Bored with beach bunnies and with "his mind set on the wetback," Hi-Test hightails it to a nearby roadhouse looking for Teresa, who enjoys shaking her hiphuggers to the jukebox there. Instead, he finds DELORES CARLOS (The Beast that Killed Women). And when Ruby, Hi-Test’s jealous girlfriend, finds them both, she and Delores have a catfight right there on the floor. (And we should stop here and mention that this marvelous roadhouse — like most of the authentic locations used in the film — is so funky and full of eccentric local color — signs advertise "Barbecued Wild Pig" and "See the World of Reptiles" while an outside awning screams "Merry Christmas"! — that it should be listed in the credits as if it were a cast member.)
Angry, Ruby goes next door to the gas station — where Marco works — and tries to put the moves on gas-pumper Reuben (CYRIL POITIER, brother of Sidney). Naturally, this makes Hi-Test go berserk. He gets even madder when Marco prevents him from turning Reuben into a sandwich. Enraged, Hi-Test decides to calm his nerves the old-fashioned way: by kidnapping Teresa right from her kitchen table and taking her to an old shack deep in the swamp where he can "play a little cat & mouse with her, and toss her around a bit..."
Starting with a cheerful parade and ending with Savages from Hell (aka Big Enough ’n’ Old Enough) could have only been made in the Florida of the Sixties where the fresh air and sunshine produced orange crops and exploitation films from such Hall of Famers as Friedman, Lewis, Wishman, Mahon, Grefe and, of course, "Kagey" Murray, who had no trouble promoting Eve or the Apple one day and Santa Claus the next.
From a 35mm print "full of hate and revenge."